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Risk Factors And Symptoms Of OA

Are you overweight or above 40 years of age and have pain in the knee?

Are you a sportsman with any injury of joints?

Do you have history of Osteoarthritis in the family?

If you answer ‘YES’ to any of the questions you need to get evaluated for osteoarthritis

Common Symptoms

  1. Strong Pain especially when moving the knee or while doing day to day activities
  2. Stiffness in the joints which increases after a nap or overnight sleep
  3. Crunching or grinding sensation in the joints during movement
  4. Swelling in or around the joints
  5. Muscle weakness around the joint
  6. Instability of the joint especially of weight bearing joint such as the knee.
  7. Restriction of joint movements
  8. In case on knee osteoarthritis, legs may become bent or bowed
  9. Change in pain severity during damp or cold weather with worsening of stiffness.

oa-risk-factors

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition of the joints caused by gradual loss of articular cartilage. Eight million people develop osteoarthritis globally and it is considered that there is no effective drug therapy or treatment available to either prevent or slow down the progression. The people with OA generally have osteochondral defects in their articular cartilage making treatment challenging.

osteoarthritis-risk

Diagrammatic Representation of Risk Factors in Osteoarthritis

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have shown promising results in the treatment of OA. Many clinical trials are in progress to study the effectiveness of stem cells stimulated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) in cartilage regeneration, degeneration of which is the hallmark of OA. MSC’s have been proven to have anti inflammatory and regenerative capacities as well as stimulate blood vessel formation and tissue repair.

We at Elixcell offer an innovative scientific treatment for people suffering from OA or any sports injury of the knee and other joints. The benefits of treatment include pain relief, improvement in quality of life and prevention of knee/ hip replacement. Please call us for details on OA and treatment. Our doctors will assist you with free consultation.

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Optic Nerve Atrophy: The Symptoms

Optic Nerve Atrophy: The Symptoms

Optic Nerve Atrophy, also known as optic neuropathy, is a common form of neurodegenerative disorder. Optic nerves are the important connecting link between eye and the brain; which is associated with overall visual performance.

The human eye, is nothing but an orbit of the bony cavity, that contains muscles, nerves, blood vessels as well as some important structures that produce and drain tears and the eye ball,. All the cellular structures are networked with each other with the help of nerves; which have come together towards the small circular area of the retina, known as the optic disc. The most sensitive part of the retina is known to be “Macula”; which is made up of millions of light sensitive cells termed as “Rods” and “Cones”. Cones are mainly responsible for detailed, acute, central vision as well as colour perception; whereas rods are responsible for peripheral and night vision.

Information, regarding the object is passed on to the brain, in the form of nerve signals from each eye, through optic nerve and other nerve fibers; where the vision is anticipated and interpreted. When there is steady degeneration of optic nerve as an end result of some of the diseased conditions; it can give rise to Optic Nerve Atrophy.

Symptoms of the Atrophy

Symptoms associated with optic atrophy are variable, on the basis of its general classification; based on some of the parameters such as morphology and pathogenesis. However, some of the common symptoms, associated with change in visual performances of an individual are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty in discrimination between colorful objects
  • Reduced visual acuity and side vision
  • Decreased brightness in one eye relative to the other

Further to these commonly expressed symptoms; some of the other symptoms, associated with specific conditions, can be explained on the basis of further classification of the atrophy.

With the help of ophthalmoscopic observation; optic atrophy can be classified as Primary Atrophy, Secondary Atrophy and Glaucomatous Atrophy of the optic nerve.

Primary Atrophy of the Optic Nerve: –

Primary Atrophy can be further subcategorized as:

  • Ascending Atrophy; which is associated with ischemic occlusion of the central part of the retina. Some of the symptoms associated with the condition, can be listed out as; transient visual loss, temporal pain, pain in the jaw or ears, fatigue, sudden weight loss and unexplained muscular pain.
  • Descending Atrophy; is associated with optic nerve compression due to hydrocephalous, traumatic fracture, hematoma formation, in surrounding area like optic sheath and/or inflammatory compression due to arachnoiditis or syphilis. The clinical hallmarks of compressive descending optic neuropathy include slow, progressive visual loss, inability to differentiate colored vision, afferent papillary defect, visual field defect as well as edema or inflammation. There can as well be a detection of compressive lesion on the eye surface.
  • Toxic Atrophy takes place due to long term abuse of optic nerve, because of low grade tobacco, alcohol consumption and/or long term exposure to harmful chemicals, etc. The vision loss associated with toxic atrophy is bilateral, symmetric and/or progressive degeneration of optic nerve. The symptoms associated with the clinical condition can often be described as reduced brightness of a particular color, generally red; or in general loss of color perception. Some people can as well notice, progressive decline of visual acuity. Upon physical observation, some pupils usually reflect normal response to light as well as visual stimulus. There can as well be rare observation of optic disc hemorrhages, leading to the continuous damage of optic nerve.
  • Congenital or Hereditary Atrophy; is often a result of infantile hereditary defect. The affected eye can display swollen appearance of the nerve fibers; upon fundus examination papillary defect may be visible.

Secondary Atrophy of the Optic Nerve: –

It is often associated with some primary disease conditions such as papilledema, papillitis, , etc. The main symptoms associated with clinical conditions are progressive visual damage, difficulty in colored objects discrimination, reduced peripheral vision, etc.

Glaucomatous Atrophy of the Optic Nerve: –

It is the most commonly occurring optic nerve atrophy, encountered in clinical practice; characteristically associated with increase in intraocular pressure causing gradual loss of vision. Glaucomatous optic nerve damage without elevation of intraocular pressure is sometimes referred to as “low tension glaucoma” or “normal pressure glaucoma.”.

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The Future of Stem Cells

The Future of Stem Cell

Bioengineering with biological scaffolds

Each and every day, thousands of surgeries are performed to repair or replace damaged tissues; due to diseases, injuries or trauma. However, with the conceptual applications of stem cells based therapies, it has been observed that these lost cells can be regenerated or repaired, without much hassles of surgeries and/or organ donations. Parallel to the advancements of stem cells based therapies; their applications in tissue engineering as biological scaffolds are attracting many scientists, who wish to mimic the nature as it is.

In the recent years, major breakthroughs have taken place in creating tissue engineered organs; such as skin, bladder, airway, etc. Although, amniotic membrane obtained from extra embryonic fetal tissues of the humans can act as a naturally derived biomaterial, possessing great biological, supportive and mechanical properties that are important for tissue engineering.

Although revolutionary, it is also to be noted that amniotic membrane have been used in the medicine for more than 100 years, with its first successful application reported in 1910, for management of severe skin burns and hard to heal wounds such as diabetic foot. Studies so far have confirmed exclusive properties of amniotic membranes such as anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-scarring, etc.

The above observations, could lead to the successful utilization of these frozen amniotic membranes, as biological dressings in wounds, ophthalmology and some of the common problems such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome; along with the infusion of stem cells to maximise the outcome. The auto as well as allo implantation of these amniotic membranes, along with the infusion of stem cells can definitely meet the expectations of scar less surface regeneration; which is required in case of burns, ulcers and ocular surface healing.

Thus, considering the appealing biocompatibility and bioactivity of amniotic membranes, their applications as a novel biocomposite material along with the use of mesenchymal stem cells can be a rocking combination to enhance guaranteed tissue regeneration with the customization possibilities. The use of this technology could be adopted in the field of cosmetics, ophthalmology and other common conditions listed above.

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Adult Stem cells

Adult Stem Cell

In today’s scenario, internet is enough to give you the best idea about better developmental potential of both adult as well as embryonic stem cells. Presently, however it would be evident that the embryonic stem cells are the better players with their greater differentiation capacity, higher isolation and better potency but their applications are limited due to ethical concerns and oncological risks.

Are Adult Stem cells better achiever?

In the case of stem cells applications as therapeutics the answer is “Yes.” Research has been reached to high end, confirming the matching capabilities and potential of adult stem cells without any risk of cancer as that of embryonic stem cells. Besides, the ongoing studies are constantly revealing new facts and figures and hence the possible therapeutic applications can be developed, if right source and right path of infusion is targeted. Adult stem cells thus hold various advantages over embryonic stem cells; when various parameters are concerned.

Better Immune tolerance

Mesenchymal stem cells, a type of adult stem cells are well proved to be immunocompetent. In the sense, these cells don’t require a matched donor for their extraction and can be infused in random recipients. These cells are known to be HLA-G positive, that suppresses the immune system in their recipients and regulate them as per their own requirement. This is the reason; they are known to be essential candidates for various auto immune disorders, wherein patient’s immune system can be channelized for better functional attributes.

A cellular youth is the key

It is strongly believed that the more mature the cells are; the more the possibility of them, carrying all the structural and functional abnormality of the recipients. Although, stem cells isolated from extra embryonic tissues could be an exception, as the youth of the cells isolated from them is maintained; in spite of being considered as the adult source of stem cells.
Thus, stem cells isolated from extra embryonic tissues are known to be the only cells; which can be isolated in their youngest form, apart from embryonic stem cells and hence are known to be in compatible with them.

Ethical Exemption

Since stem cells are derived from the adult tissues, with the proper consent from the patient; these stem cells are known to be ethically privileged, not posing any ethical dilemma to their utilization in stem cells based therapies.

The Final Verdict

The evidences based on the recent research has proved that adult stem cells are more potential than once thought, and hence should be emphasized to be more important in prolonging and saving human life; without a need of painful surgery, tedious wait for suitable organs and other infectious complications.

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An Unexpected Breakthrough

An Unexpected Breakthrough

Stem cells and their applications in treatment have been proposed as the major breakthrough of the decade. More and more data has been published, proving the two remarkable abilities of stem cells. First, these cells can be maintained in their immature state for more than 20 years; as done in the banking and second is that, they can be channelized with the help of proper stimulation to be specialized cells, on demand.

Thus, the rationale has raised the hopes of millions, who are suffering from many crippling disorders.

Many of these degenerative disorders are as a result of loss of cellular function, in particular organ. Each organ or tissue is made up of millions of cells, which are working continuously for undisturbed functions; that we are doing. Daily our body has to go through lot of trauma or damage to keep us going. Many tissue specific cells go dead in routine wear and tear of the body, which are produced again; with the help of resident stem cells quota of that organ. However, in case of diseased conditions; the loss of cells is so big that the substantial amount of production, metabolic or accuracy issue arises; risking the life of an individual to a significant level.

Historically, oral medications were available to manage the diseases; organs were donated to replace failing systems and surgeries were opted to repair the damage. In case of organ donation, the need far outweighs the supply; whereas for rest of the options, the cost and the side effects are too high, limiting their effectiveness as well as feasibility.

Stem cells can however do all this, very naturally and effectively; as they are like demographic leaders, they can be effectively used of the human body, by the body and for the body. Thus, the concept of stem cells based therapy is to repair, replace or supplement damaged or dead cells with the healthy ones; when the former are functionally lost in diseased condition.

The understanding of human biology and how we are allowed to live, breathe, think and create is still quite limited. It took almost more than 200 years to understand that we all human beings are made up of trillions of active cells, after the first discovery of a concept of a cell.

Comparatively stem cells concept is new, but still more than 5000 research articles are already published and more than 200 worldwide clinical trials are already on their way of completion; this shows, the amount of scientific and technical involvement and a need of time in augmenting such a breakthrough!

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Sources Of Adult Stem Cells

Sources of adult Stem cell

The adult stem cells, justifying their name are found to be undifferentiated cells; which are present as a reserved quota in different mature organs throughout the body and are found to be replenishing dying cells and regenerating damaged ones.

In the past decades, the several ways of isolating adult somatic cells are being actively explored from many studies. Depending upon the tissue type, adult stem cells are isolated from adult grown body.

From your own body

Some of the well known sources of adult stem cells, commonly used for autologous infusion are known to be bone marrow, fat, dental pulp, peripheral blood, etc. Stem cells can be isolated from these sources and can be infused back in the same donor to channelize them at the site of injury. These sources are known to be the good sources of mesenchymal stem cells; which can make cells of bone, cartilages, fat, connective tissues, brain, etc.

However, the main problem in use of these sources are that, being mature sources, the number of stem cells isolated is very less; generally insufficient to be exploited for their therapeutic applications. On the contrary they can be offered in combination to initiate strong regeneration.

From the pluripotent stem cells

Recently scientists are being able to produce pluripotent stem cells from variety of different types of adult stem cells that are functionally similar to embryonic stem cells. Research is ongoing to prepare these induced pluripotent stem cells for therapeutic applications; although the research is still in its nascent phase and would need large number of clinical trials before being implemented practically.

From extra embryonic fetal tissues

Recently stem cells isolated from extra embryonic fetal tissues such as cord blood, tissue, amniotic membrane has been a widely accepted concept with due regards to its safety and feasibility. These are the broad stem cell class, with the recent history and can be isolated from the supportive extra embryonic tissues, which are generally discarded after the birth of a baby. These stem cells are found to be very appealing due to their easy isolation, ready availability and ethical exemption.

These extra embryonic tissues, as stem cells reservoirs, offer many advantages over there other counterparts; as these cells can be isolated from the child’s afterbirth and hence pose minimum risk to the child for their extraction, these cells are locked in their youngest form other than embryonic cells and hence are putative in nature with the unrestricted potency to form variety of cells, these cells can as well be saved with the recent advancements for the child’s future and the most significant of all, there can be increase number of stem cells isolation, which is sufficient for their therapeutic applications.

Thus, the versatility displayed by stem cells isolated from extra embryonic tissues is encouraging over their other counterparts and hence may represent a novel source as a revolutionizing medicine to treat variety of diseases.

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Applications of Stem Cells

Applications of Stem Cell

Treatment using stem cells based preparation, has been continued to be an extremely active area. Scientists believe that it is very important to explore different cell infusion pathways so as to attain maximum benefit from stem cells. From the studies so far, many vistas of adult stem cells based therapies could be identified, some of their applications can be:

Vascular Diseases

Stem cells are known to be the better long term prospects for many cardio-vascular diseases, which are known to be the leading cause of death among global developed populations. In the recent trials, the regeneration of stem cells in the cardiomyocytes has confirmed in the patients, opening doors to the successful treatments. Mesenchymal stem cells isolated from extra embryonic tissues, can be promising candidates due to their large number and easy adaptability in vascular environment to promote faster regeneration.

Neurological Diseases

Stem cells applications have as well shown very encouraging results in neurological diseases. Various studies and clinical trials have confirmed that adult stem cells isolated from various mature tissues, can form a protective environment for motor neuron; linking them up for easy restoration of neural functions. Besides, various other small scale trials have underpinned the fact that these mesenchymal stem cells, isolated from extra embryonic stem cells are pluripotent in nature with the good rate of differentiating them into neuronal origin.

Eye Problems

Currently many people are searching, whether stem cells have applications in eye disorder. Apparently, the degenerative eye conditions cannot be reversed; stem cells treatment for reversing the eye damage or stopping the progression can be indeed an appealing idea. Studies have confirmed their assured potency to differentiate into wide range of cells to repair the eyes. On the contrary, the repair of the cornea through stem cells based therapy is highly successful with many satisfied patients.

Metabolic Disorders

Stem cells have as well proved to be the most trusted options in treating metabolic disorders such as liver problems, diabetes, etc. for which so far no treatment is available that can alter the condition. Since these mesenchymal stem cells are immunomodulators, they have observed to be regulating patient’s immune system to beat the pressure of autoimmunity and immune rejections.

Orthopaedic Problems

Application of stem cells stimulated with patients own platelet rich plasma, has been widely acclaimed treatment in the orthopaedics. Medical fraternity as well showed the wide interest in implementing these treatment options as part of their routine investigations due to their effectiveness, low risk and ease of availability.

Thus, it is very important to increase the awareness regarding stem cells treatments. Many doctors argue that new treatments have to be urgently channelized as rapidly as possible for many devastating conditions.

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Pain and Arthritis

Pain and Arthritis

Almost each one of us might have suffered from pain at one or the other point of time in life and you cannot always ignore it by considering it to be routine. As sometimes, pain can be an indication of underlying diseased condition such as arthritis; which has to be rectified early at its onset. Scientifically, pain can be defined as a defence procedure, structured by human body to inform brain about the damage or injury that has taken place.

Apart from physical sensation, pain can as well increase emotional turbulence, leading to nervousness or depression. Thus chronic pain has direct link up with unusual neuronal damage; which if left untreated, may lead to fatal conditions.

Pain can be due to any condition, such as damage to cartilage as in case of osteoarthritis or chemically activated neuronal inflammation as in case of rheumatoid arthritis. Whatever may be the reason, it has so far proved to be challenging to both doctor as well as patient; to identify the cause and manage symptoms of the pain.
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Tips to reduce Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

Tips to reduce Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

In today’s scenario, osteoarthritis is the leading cause of misery, the world is facing. It is not a deadly disease like cancer, however it is a silent killer that will be with you till the time you are dead. The disease is progressive and can worsen over the period of time. Once you are affected with OA, it will take you to the unbearable pain, dependency or difficulty in performing regular duties, stress, fatigue and overall in the mood of depression. The worst part is that there is as such no cure to reverse the disease or stop its progression but the good part is that science has a provision to manage your disease with little ease and minimum discomfort.

Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder, more active on weight bearing joints such as knee. In the knee osteoarthritis, the cushion bone of the joint known as the cartilage, degenerate due to overuse, weight or age. Due to this degeneration, the two bones of the joints get exposed to shock and fiction, causing the unbearable pain in the bones. The disease can be managed with various rehabilitative approaches such as:

Exercise:

excercise

It is very important to get going even you face lot of pain. Although, the right balance between the exercise and rest is always necessary. Most commonly, aerobic exercises, yoga, swimming are suggested, as they can minimize the stress on joint and still can keep you moving in their long run.

Manage your weight:

Manage your weight

Research has evidence based suggestion that one needs to keep his/her weight in total control as overweight can be a key to the variety of problems. Being overweight can possibly increase the load on the joints due to which friction between the two bones increases. It thus can as well worsen your osteoarthritis with the progressive age. No special diet is required to manage your weight, losing even small amount of your weight with regular exercise can create major impact on disease progression.

Reduce the strain on your knee:

There are number of ways that can be suggested to reduce the strain on your joints such as giving breaks to your activities, rest in between, wearing low heeled shoes with soft, thick soles, use of handrail to support your knee when climbing, not to be in bending position for too long etc.

Use of ice packs:

Use of ice packs

Ice packs can ease pain and stiffness associated with OA. These precautions can be helpful for managing the flare ups of pain.

Tablets and over the counter (OTC) medication for osteoarthritis:

Tablets and OTC for osteoarthritis

Pain killers can help minimize the pain associated with OA. Although these tables cannot affect the arthritis, they are best used when the pain is very bad or before or after exercises. Some non steroidal, anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can as well be suggested for managing the disease by minimizing flare ups but long term use of these tablets is associated with dangerous adverse effects.

Surgery:

Joint surgery can repair or replace severely damaged joints, especially hips or knees.

Complementary treatment for osteoarthritis:

Apart from precautionary measures stated above there are some alternative technologically advanced ways to minimize the pain, manage the disease and possibly slow down the progression such as stem cells technology.

So far in various clinical analysis, it has been proven that these stem cells have the ability to differentiate into various required cells. This potential ability of stem cells can be utilized to differentiate into cartilages, when infused locally through joints. In this regard mesenchymal stem cells activated with autologous platelet rich plasma can be the best choice, in lieu of their potency, easy availability and immune modulation.